Since she stepped outside the "roots music" box with her latest album Hummingbird, Go!, Swedish-born New Orleans musician Theresa Andersson has enjoyed success on a national scale. The record includes a duet with legendary New Orleans pianist and producer Allen Toussaint, and it features violin playing that has made her stand out in a state oddly full of violinists, but most of the music on Hummingbird sounds like it springs more from Andersson's imagination than any particular musical influence.
Her new muse is a sampling device that has spawned a growing musical genre. Andersson used "loop station" pedals to sample herself singing and playing various instruments live, in much the same way Keller Williams has for more than a decade. Andersson put some one-woman-band performances on YouTube, and "Na Na Na," a song from the album, has drawn 850,000 views.
Andersson's music is a spacey blend of mysterious sounds and rhythms that melds talents, including her vocals, with the choppy, inorganic effects of new technology. Her sonic originality has landed her on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and garnered attention from the Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone. Songs from Hummingbird, Go! have also been featured on Grey's Anatomy, and Andersson recently sang on a collaboration with David Byrne and dance music artist Fatboy Slim.